1. The US: we failed the first battle. Can we win the war?
We entered H2-2022 with a high hope on the US market. A Sales to be sent there by Q3. MKT activities would soon convert into Leads. A new batch of US clients will start appearing.
But we were too naive to think it was that easy.
Firstly, Alex’s visa application was not accepted. The US immigration system is not simply designed for small companies like us to send someone there. Then MKT failed to bring a stable number of US leads. We tried to execute numerous plans and waited for four months. The results not improved as we expected.
By writing these lines, we gave up the plan of sending a Sales to the US. The MKT team still has been struggling with the US campaign.
We did have some first US clients, but they’re not enough to cover the total the U.S. market’s investment. More importantly, we have not created a template to acquire the US clients. New tactics are being deployed. But we can’t (and should not) say anything in advance. Let’s wait and see.
2. A new Revenue milestone
Nevertheless, it’s the year-end. The right time for us is to look back at a key figures: revenue data. 2022 marks a milestone with the new high in revenue (you already saw this in the YEP video):
- For a year: VND 37.5bil.
- For a single month (Dec): 4.27bil
The total revenue comes mostly from the production efforts. Yes, Production. I mean, here are PM & AM directly, with support from VM & IH. You have done a beautiful job, teams! Thank you so much for the contribution.
Our working culture is to look forward and to keep improving. However, I guess a brief looking back would be acceptable sometimes. Compared to our first year 2017 in which the revenue was VND 2.4bil, we are now 15 times bigger. It’s a quite something, isn’t it?
3. Revenue per Headcount (RpH)
As can be seen from the chart, the RpH is on the upward trend (except for 2019 and 2020 – there was several huge one-off projects). We closed 2022 with VND 1.072bil/headcount, or about $45k/headcount.
There’re many factors affecting the RpH: team efficiency; team structure; unit price of our product (language pairs); average client/project values; and many more.
Therefore, it’s hard to conclude firmly which is the attribute mainly caused for this positive trend. However, my best guess: we’re doing well with the Unit Price. Specifically, we gradually transform from EN-VI language to other LPs with higher unit price (mostly Asian LPs).
What does this RhP mean to you? Somehow, it indicates our human quality/efficiency. So if we can push the RpH up, the company has more revenue resources to offer you better compensation packages.
That’s our own data. What about other companies? Let’s select a few (random) others to make a comparison.
The gap between our RpH and those companies are quite big. Still a long long way to go.
4. My year-end reflection
Personally, when I look back at 2022, the first thing comes to my mind is the lessons learned. Not the revenue recorded. Not the profit earned.
In fact, lessons do not come easily, or quickly. We learn our best during the turbulent time. To name a few:
- People management: within 2022, there were changes at several key positions: 2 times with the PMTL role, 2 times with the MKT TL role, and 1 time with the Sales TL role. Not mentioning multiple changes at staff level.
- Sales & MKT investment: H2-2022 was the second period that we experience a loss from Sales & MKT activities. The lost in H2 was even bigger than from H1.
- Revenue management: 2022 revenue target was established as a wishful goal without a clear roadmap on how to achieve it. When the actual achievement was behind the target, I didn’t really know what to do.
Sometimes I doubt my own ability to drive our company forward. But these lessons are of great values. They’re my weapons for 2023. I hope you all have learnt something for yourself in 2022.
Let’s finish what we couldn’t do in 2022 in 2023, won’t you?
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